As a part of the music industries, independent record labels have influenced creative strategy practices and stood for true artistic freedom in music and more avant-garde cultural productions. Historically, independent record labels are acquired by majors as they conquer financial success. Several studies discuss the dynamics of the management and foundation of independent record labels. However, the relevance and practice of strategic vision rarely are mentioned in the literature. Therefore, this study presents findings from a thematic analysis of 10 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with founders and collaborators of six European independent record labels to understand the relevance of practising a strategic vision in the context of European independent record labels strategy making. The results of this study contribute to and build upon the existing literature on vision and strategy-as-practice, opening up new directions for future research. Furthermore, this research gathers insights on the importance of having a (shared) vision and the relevance of strategy-as-practice to achieve long-term goals applied to the music industries. When trying to answer the research question – "What is the relevance and practice of a vision in the context of European Independent Labels strategy making?" – it was discovered that by aligning and sharing the same vision with internal and external audiences, the company experiences higher performance rates since everyone is striving for success. Additionally, it is highlighted the relevance of the role of flexibility, transparency, and positive leadership as tools to achieve goals while perceiving the significance of vision in independent record labels' strategy-making processes as the purpose that establishes an empowering tone and mindset that can be carried throughout the process of building effective practises. Insightful takeaways to incorporate in the strategy-making of independent record labels were included, such as the maintenance of weekly meetings with the staff, experiences that strengthen the team spirit, the development of a solid business model and SWOT analysis, hiring more people to promote a better structure, investing in international talent, advertising social media content to reach wider audiences, and the articulation of three successful pillars when implementing a strategic vision: flexibility, transparency, and positive leadership.

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Dr. Sven-Ove Horst
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Elisa Lamy Vaz. (2022, June 27). The relevance and practice of strategic vision in the context of European Independent Record Labels strategy-making. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from